Painless, noninvasive testing can detect heart problems early.
How Can an ECG/EKG Help My Pet?
The echocardiogram (ECG) and electrocardiogram (EKG) are two painless ways that veterinarians can examine your pet’s heart. A vet might order an ECG/EKG if your pet displays an irregular heartbeat or heart murmur during a physical exam. In addition, symptoms such as fainting could indicate a hidden heart problem that requires diagnostic testing. Both tests give vets a clearer idea of how your pet’s heart is functioning and help plan a course of treatment if a problem is detected.
How Does the ECG/EKG Procedure Work?
The ECG/EKG procedure is simple, quick, and painless for your pet. During the procedure, your pet connects to an ECG/EKG unit that records heart rate and rhythm. The test takes only a couple of minutes, and the results are sent off to a board-certified cardiologist for clinical review. When the results come back, our vet can discuss them with you and explain what the findings mean for your pet’s health and care.
When your pet is ill, time can be critical. That’s why we strive to see your pet the same day you call our office.
Often individual family members will notice changes in a pet’s behavior. For this reason, we ask that owners discuss their pet’s condition with their families, which can often help you better summarize your animal’s symptoms and behaviors when you see the vet.
If your animal is a first-time patient that is new to the practice, we ask that you bring copies of your pet’s health records (including lab records, a record of your pet’s inoculations, and a list of any medications your pet is currently taking) from your previous vet. If you don’t have this information handy, you can request that your prior vet email a copy of your pet’s records to us.
We Keep You in the Loop
An informed owner can be a pet’s best advocate. That’s why we keep you apprised of each step in the diagnosis and treatment process. We’ll develop a treatment plan for your pet and review it with you, explaining the reasons and costs for each test and procedure. If your pet requires inpatient treatment, we’ll keep you informed of your animal’s condition and progress during its stay. Additionally, after you take your pet home, we’ll call to check on your pet’s recovery.
At Tates Creek Animal Hospital, we use the latest digital imaging technology to provide a painless and accurate diagnosis of your pet’s injury or illness.
Digital Imaging Delivers Greater Quality & Detail
Digital technology allows the creation of higher-quality x-ray images, with less radiation exposure. By allowing vets to zoom in on areas of concern, this technology lets our vets examine vital anatomical features in detail, without the added time or radiation exposure of x-rays.
We are prepared to meet the special health needs of senior pets.
Developments in veterinary care, increased emphasis on preventive care, and improvements in pet nutrition have resulted in our pets living longer into their senior years. As our pets age, they experience many of the health challenges that people face—including arthritis, diabetes, vision problems, kidney and bladder issues, heart disease, cancer, and even dementia.
We recommend wellness checks two times per year for all senior animals (those over eight years of age) to help detect any age-related health problems early before they become debilitating or life-threatening.
Our vets are skilled in working with senior pets and will perform a complete physical exam. Based on our findings, we may recommend blood tests, urinalysis, an EKG, or imaging studies. Since our patients can’t describe their symptoms, we rely on these diagnostic tests to provide detailed and accurate information on your animal’s health. Twice-yearly visits help us track any changes in your pet’s condition before they become a health crisis.
Aging Pets Have Changing Needs
As with humans, animals’ bodies change as they age. Metabolism slows, senses become less acute, and your pet may be at risk for age-related conditions like arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes. We understand the importance of providing your animal with the best possible care throughout the life cycle. That’s why we make crucial adjustments in medication, immunizations, and nutrition to better meet the health needs of your aging pet.
We can also offer helpful guidance on the home care of aging animals—such as ways to keep senior pets active, tips to avoid pet obesity, and ways to arrange your senior pet’s living space to improve both comfort and quality of life.
Ultrasound is a helpful diagnostic tool that offers a more complete picture of your pet’s health.
When combined with a complete physical exam, blood work, and x-rays, ultrasound provides a unique and complementary diagnostic view of your animal’s organ systems and their function. The ultrasound procedure in animals is much like that used in humans, and relies on sound waves to produce images. Ultrasound involves no radiation exposure and is completely painless to your pet.
Why Might My Pet Need an Ultrasound?
Often an ultrasound is indicated for pets that have shown an abnormal result on their physical exam, x-ray, or blood work. Other times, a pet’s symptoms (such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss) might spur the need for an ultrasound. An animal might also need an ultrasound to evaluate fluid buildup in the abdomen or to gauge the health and progress of a pregnancy.
What Happens During an Ultrasound Scan?
The ultrasound procedure is painless and noninvasive. We ask that owners fast pets on the day of an ultrasound because organs can be seen better when your animal’s stomach is empty. All ultrasounds at Tates Creek Animal Hospital are performed by a board-certified on-call sonographer.